General ideas for Writing a State Report - all ages

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General ideas for Writing a State Report - all ages

Unread post by Marie »

General ideas for Writing a State Report - all ages

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:22 pm

A bit more on the state history reports weeks....

Here is what I did to help me have some structure to it all. I did it over 6 weeks time. Using the pages from Writing a State Report, we researched in this order:

*week 1 basic historical knowledge for 3 or 4 days, and 1 (or 2) day of report writing
*week 2 government for 3or 4 days and 1 (or2) day of report writing
*week 3 geography and physical features for 4(or3) days and 1(or 2) day of report writing (this include state symbols that are covered on the state sheets)
*week 4 basic economics of the state (industry, jobs, natural resources) 3or 4 days, and 1(or2) day report
*week 5 People and culture: famous people and vacation spots. 4 (or3) days and 1 (or2) for writing.
*week 6: finish the report and tie it all up with an end of year party.

If you only go for 4 weeks, maybe you could condense weeks 3& 5 into other slots and work more on the report writing each week. Not sure b/c I didn't do it that way :)

It must be hard to write detailed plans when each state is treated individually, but hopefully something like that can help you not get bogged down or discouraged.

I knew that we wouldn't learn everything about our state and its history. I looked to add to information from encyclopedia article. Our book basket time centered around books that were filled with State Trivia. Our library had several state trivia books and we read them out loud for fun.

We used the AAA Tour Book for our state as a great resource as well as the official state tour guide book from Tourism office (it even included coupons to use around the state.)

So that my 2nd grader wouldn't get lost in the shuffle, she made a State History Fun Book instead of writing a report.

Remember, during those weeks you are still doing more than just history.

hope some of that helps a bit :)


Cool website for countries and states!

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:13 am

While perusing kid links on our library's homepage, I stumbled across an awesome website:

It has more country info than you could ever imagine! It looks like some portions require a subscription, but the fee is only $4 & some change. Recipes, flags, national anthems, social/religious/economic information - this seems like a really thorough site.

cbollin wrote:There's even mini-reports on each US State in there. That could be fun in EX1850 for some information for the state report.
Julie in MN
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Re: General ideas for Writing a State Report

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I found it helpful when Crystal shared how she broke down the big task of writing a state report, so I thought I'd share, too. Here's what I came up with when trying to describe my version of tackling this big project. It was one of those things that ds did not like doing but was very proud of afterwards.

1. We did the activity of writing a letter to our state when it was assigned in the EX1850 manual. I found that these days, most states seem to focus on website information rather than printed materials. We received just one brochure from our state; another friend received one thing from their state. But it was still a good exercise.

2. I e-mailed our library system & asked whether they could give us a formal tour of library resources. I specified that it was "for a 7th grader who is going to be writing a report and is ready to go beyond the children's section." They were happy to set this up for us. I then e-mailed a couple of local homeschool groups to invite them on the tour. We had about 4 kids on the tour, & they came up with lots of good questions.

3. As I read through Writing a State Report, I decided that it was never meant that a child complete all of the research skills (note cards, bibliography cards, internet research, footnotes, etc) on every single topic in the book (ranging from history to weather). Even a college report would never assign so wide a topic for in-depth research. I needed to narrow this down in some way.

4. I know that my nature is to over-teach, and so I started by narrowing this down within my own mind. I thought back on my older kids' experience in public school, and came up with my own goals for this report. Some potential goals were crossed out because ds was already accomplishing them elsewhere, such as in MFW. Other goals I eliminated because of the nature of this particular child of mine -- even if they might have been important for one of my other kids, this kid didn't need them. Here is what I *did* want to accomplish:
a. Pull together information from multiple sources into a "report" (similar to our MFW studies).
b. Learn more about the library.
c. Introduce the specific method of "notecards" for research -- as one tool in his toolbox. I knew he may or may not ever use this again, so I tried to emphasize "introduce" rather than "use lots of those notecards."
d. I wanted him to work on organizing a large number of his thoughts before they were simply "spilled" onto a page. (Maybe for my dd, I would have focused on summarizing information in her own words, instead.)
e. Connect what he's already experienced on field trips to what he reads in books.

5. Eventually, I decided he would study our state in two parts.
a. A more formal research report on one topic, trying to use the notecards, bibliography, etc. I chose "state history" for this, since he didn't care.
b. A general report on all the other topics using the Writing A State Report book as a guide.

6. We went through the teaching pages of Writing A State Report using the general sequence in EX1850, with just a few adjustments.

7. I removed the actual report pages from Writing A State Report (pg. 20-45). The pages are perforated, so it was easy to do. I stapled them into a "booklet." This became our reference point whenever we were discussing my expectations. He had it with him whenever he was working on his report.

8. I showed my son examples of what a research report looks like. We went through:
a. The encyclopedia article on our state. I pointed out titles, subheadings, informational graphs, and the bibliography.
b. His science textbook. We looked at its table of contents and bibliography. He didn't realize that even science textbook writers need to show where they got their information!

9. We were given a library tour lasting a full hour. The librarian showed us the computer catalog, the Dewey decimal system, and all the different areas of the library -- nonfiction, map drawers, reference books, videos, audiobooks, juvenile nonfiction, etc. The librarian asked for a couple of topics that the kids were studying and demonstrated how she could find info on those specific topics. Also, our library website has a specific page for kids & one for teens, where links should be a little more trustworthy than a general web search might come up with. NOTE: Interestingly, I found out that there is NO physical card catalog in our library any more, so most of page 7 in Writing A State Report can be skipped or adapted to the "online card catalog."

10. For his first step in reading about our state, we went over all the field trips we've gone on in our state. They are all in one notebook because one summer, I went through all of our notebook pages on Minnesota field trips and put them in chronological order. I'm not sure how much actual info he got from this, but he did realize that he already knew some things about our state.

11. Ds asked to go ahead & do the MFW State Sheet on our state, even though we hadn't come to that point in history yet. He said, "How can I write a report on our state if I haven't even learned about it yet?" I guess he felt the State Sheets are the best way to learn! He did reference the State Sheet in one of his footnotes...

12. Next, he read some books on Minnesota. As he read, I had him try making notecards on index cards (page 9). It was important that I fill one out to show him how each item gets a separate card, and you don't list a bunch of stuff on one card. Then I also copied the bibliography cards (page 8 ), but I must admit that he didn't really use any of these cards. <sigh> he had "exposure" anyways.

13. After several days of reading, I had him start writing the "research" section of his report about Minnesota history. I had him use books & not the internet at this point. As he went along, I did have to prompt him with some important history topics I felt he was ignoring. In the end, this part was about 1.5 pages or so. The subheadings he ended up with were:
* First Inhabitants (2 paragraphs - one on each major tribe from our area)
* Exploration & Settlement (5 paragraphs & 1 map of Reservations in our state)
* Territory/State (1 paragraph)

We adapted the footnote/bibliography, so he just did complete footnotes on the bottom of each section - his history report as well as all the other informational pages (& didn't create a bibliography). His footnotes weren't up to college standards yet, but they were a beginning of understanding the components & the need for writers to have a consistent style. His little list for his "history report" section just had a list at the bottom like this:
1. My Father’s World State Sheets, Marie Hazell, 2006.
2. Northern lights, The Stories of Minnesota’s Past, Dave Kenney, 2003.
3. The Story of the World, Volume 3, CH 29, Susan Wise Bauer, 2004.
4. It Happened In America, Lila Perl, 1992/1996.

14. He likes to type his work, and that makes editing much less painful. Also, once he started writing, I didn't assign any other writing during the weeks that followed.

15. When he finished his history section, he started doing half-page summaries of each of the other topics in Writing A State Report. He did a lot of this on the internet, but I made him list all sources after each section, including web pages. This part was 9 pages total: 13 topics, each with one good paragraph; two topics fit on each page unless there were pictures (state symbols), map (land regions), or list (he listed top 5 cities by population, gov. districts for our address, population by decade, employment categories).

16. After he was done writing (& editing his writing), I talked to him about presentation of information so the reader finds it pleasant and easy to follow. He had to work on this for a while. I typed my thoughts on some of his pages by changing the font color to make it clear where I had added my notes. I made comments like...
* White space can be too much or too little.
* Headings should look important.
* Bulleted lists and graphs would help break up long paragraphs of numbers.
* Maps, drawings, cartoons, & illustrations are specified in Writing A State Report, and they make reports more interesting.
* Each of these things (from bulleted lists to illustrations) requires a clear title or explanation under it.
* Sentences should be grouped into paragraphs that have one topic or are connected in some way.
* All footnotes need to use exactly the same style.
* No abbreviations in a report, and the word "Minnesota" shouldn't be repeated 1,000 times -- add some variety & it will make your report longer, too!

17. The last things he made were the cover page and table of contents (after he numbered the final pages). Then we decided to 3-hole punch and use brass grommets to fasten the pages together. Mission accomplished!
Last edited by Julie in MN on Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Julie in MN
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Resources for State Report - Minnesota & general ideas

Unread post by Julie in MN »

These are resources that we found helpful in writing the State Report. All apply to MINNESOTA, but many would work for any state. I thought families with younger kids might not want to do as much independent research, so why reinvent the wheel if we've already spent the time looking these up?!

(1) Northern Lights, Stories of Minnesota's Past
Our library has this textbook that is used by many Minnesota schools (and via ILL my librarian could find the teaching materials, as well). It's mostly history, but also has some things about the land regions, industries, and a little atlas. It spends a lot of time on Native Americans, but does extend through the 1900s. The new edition with the colored cover is nice, but the colored activity pages make it feel jumpy and opinionated IMHO. You can read a lot of it online at Google Book Search.

(2) The Little Bird That Was Caught, by Jane Gibbs.
This is a true story in the form of a children's chapter book, but it explains the history of a lot of field trip we've been on. Jane was more-or-less kidnapped by a missionary couple moving from New York to Minnesota in 1834. The couple is not remembered very fondly by Jane, even though they were missionaries. However, she was very fond of missionary Gideon Pond (Bloomington, MN) as well as the Dakota people. The Pond-Dakota mission site in Bloomington & the Gibbs farm/museum in St. Paul were specifically in this book. (Parents & older kids can read Samuel Pond's own writing in Dakota Life in the Upper Midwest.)

(3) Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota
PBS special which you can borrow at our library on VHS. Mr. Eastman was an Army officer and at the same time a famous painter depicting the 1800s, especially the Native Americans. His story covers a lot of MN history, including Fort Snelling and the US-Dakota War (or Sioux Uprising). There is also a book by the same name, with a lot of text but also a lot of his paintings. (Seth Eastman is also briefly mentioned in Jane Gibbs' book, above.)

(3) Minneapolis-St. Paul Then and Now
These books are probably most appreciated by parents, but there are also things kids can relate to -- the original Fort Snelling, the difference between Mpls (in the background) when the dome was built and now, etc.

(4) Canoeing with the Cree, by Eric Sevareid
True adventure story of two older teens who canoe thru Minnesota and up to Canada in 1930.

- MFW's state sheet on Minnesota (we read it even though it wasn't covered in EX1850).
- Northern Lights, Stories of Minnesota's Past, textbook used by many Minnesota schools, carried at our library.
- It Happened in America (recommended for EX1850 book basket ), the chapter on Minnesota is about Scandinavian immigrants, so that adds an interesting piece of the history puzzle.
- Another option for the Scandinavian immigrants would be the Kirsten books from American Girl.
- our local school store carries an 8 foot timeline called, "Minnesota Timeline of Awesome Achievements and Events" by Minnesota Experience, Gallopade International

- My son used google images to first find a map of our state that showed the land regions clearly & simply. Then he went to that map's web page and found the info about it.
- This is the map he chose: ... meskey.png

- (each state has a page like this), then link to kids' pages, which then have lots of links to info, often including good pictures

- National Park Service or
- (preserves)
- MN historical society, or (historic sites)
- ... guides.htm (family travel sites)

- has paragraphs on natural resources & local industries, plus temperature "extremes" by state.
- Encyclopedia
- (DEED = Dept. of Ed. & Economic Dev.)
- ... ources.htm (Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom is very into helping homeschoolers & teachers, & you can order some things from them here)

- Wikipedia & WikiAnswers have info on counties, interstates, population, school districts, & a section on each state's weather records, including things like most tornadoes in one day!
- The same brochure we got in the mail after writing the letter can also be found online here: ... nesota.pdf
- (population)

- (click on "capitol video tour")

- Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey, both vice presidents
- professional wrestlers including Governor Ventura
- Warren Burger, chief justice
- Charles Schulz, Peanuts cartoon
- performers like Bob Dylan, Prince, Atmosphere (according to ds), Garrison Keillor, Judy Garland
- F. Scott Fitzgerald & Sinclair Lewis, authors
- Ward Cozgrove, Green Giant
- George Hormel, Spam (WWII)
- Charles Pillsbury, Pillsbury flour
- the Mayo brothers, Mayo Clinic
- James J Hill, railroads (born in Canada, but came to MN at age 18 with nothing)
- John Paul Getty, oil (just the opposite - from MN but didn't spend adult years here)
- Charles Strite, invented pop-up toaster
- Edward Lowe, invented kitty litter
- Dred Scott, of the Supreme Court case that started at Fort Snelling
- 1st Minnesota Volunteer Regiment, of the Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War
- Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy-Tacy author)

Not Minnesotans, but famous names in Minnesota
- Louis Hennepin
- Joseph N. Nicollet
- Father Jacques Marquette
- Henry Sibley
- Pierre Radisson
- Alexander Ramsey
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow & Hiawatha
- Elizabeth Kenny

Interesting explanation of how Minneapolis's alphabetical street names were chosen:

More MN inventors/inventions: Puffed Wheat, Rollerblades, snowmobile, Greyhound bus, 3M (post-its, scotch tape), union suits/Penguin golf-type shirt/Munsingwear, open-heart surgery.

I posted more details on some of the field trip sites ... 854#p30012 ... 015#p36423
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:12 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: General ideas for Writing a State Report

Unread post by dhudson »

Here's a brief overview of what we did for the State History portion of EXP -1850.

1. We broke the state (CO for us) into 4 different quadrants and planned field trips into those quadrants.
2. Purchased several books about our state and then a guide book for kids about our state.
3. Studied the geography of our state and each child made a map of the state with room to label as we traveled.
4. Read history books about our state and made a giant timeline.
5. Took our trips and notebooked about each trip. (We spent about 2 weeks in total traveling)
6. Each child picked a project to do. Our oldest (in 6th) did a research paper and report, he also had personal interviews with grandparents and great grandparents and had an entire section on our family history in our state (both families go back several generations and both came in covered wagons). Our dd (3rd) did a lap book on the wildflowers of CO. We took many hikes and she took pictures and then researched what they were and several facts about each and labeled each picture. Our ds (3rd) made a diorama of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and wrote a short report on the Anasazi.

This took us about 6 weeks in total but was an amazing end of the year and the kids learned so much! Going on the trips really made the history come alive and was worth the effort and time.
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Re: State Report EX1850

Unread post by cbollin »

sewardmom wrote:When you had multiple siblings doing a state report at the same time, did you let them pick a different state or did they all report on the same state? I am wondering if they might appreciate being able to do a different state than their siblings. If you had more than one student could you please share with me how you handled this and how it worked?
I had a 5th and 2nd grader. The 5th grader did a report on Indiana (which is where we lived at the time... still do for 6 more days...) The 2nd grader did Indiana, but did just a notebooking project for it. she actually did a K-3rd notebooking on our state from statehistory dot net.

probably not your situation and I think your kids are closer in age than 3 grade levels apart. and older....

If you have to do state history with your children, it might work to let them do the same state (the one you live in) and assign different topics to report on. Or even variation in the topic (if they both report on sports teams in the state, maybe it could be different sports or something like that.)

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Re: State Report EX1850

Unread post by dhudson »

I had mine do our state together. That way we could do field trips as a family. We took several weeks to tour our state as well as do a mini-unit study. I found several books for kids about our state and I arranged them chronologically and we read the books and wrote narrations as well as created a state timeline. At the end of the study my oldest son did a full report which included our families history coming into the state as pioneers. My twins who were in 3rd grade did more of a project (although they filled in a workbook on our state as well). My dd did a state wildflower lapbook and my ds did a diorama and short paragraph on a state historical site. It was a great ending to the school year and my kids learned a ton - actually we all did. I am really grateful that MFW scheduled that time in for us to really delve into our state's history.

You can see pictures of our field trips on my blog.
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Re: State Report EX1850

Unread post by DS4home »

I had my two oldest do two different states, working on them side by side. We had moved from one state to another, so one dd did our "first home state", and the other dd did our "new home state". They compared notes a lot, so (shh, don't tell them) they both actually learned a lot about both states! :-)

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Re: State Report EX1850

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

I am considering this their state history so they will both be doing Oregon.

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Unread post by schelean »

beastgal wrote:This is our first year homeschooling and we are LOVING Adventures! I was just looking ahead to the 5 year cycle and wondering about State History. I was just interested to see when we should look to add this in. We already are talking about some of it as we visit historical sites!
Postby cbollin » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:32 pm
Individual state history is covered in EX1850, during the last 4-6 weeks of the program.

If you have state legal requirements that you need to do it before you reach that program, it can be done with the book Writing a State Report as a stand alone unit if absolutely needed in some fashion. Or you can just take informal approach with state field trips and then do the research/report when you reach the curriculum.

another non mfw option is a notebooking approach called statehistory dot net
if you absolutely have to do something for legal requirements and need more structure and quizzes and all of that.

but if it can wait... just do fun field trips all the time, and wait until EX1850

Postby beastgal » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:37 pm
thank you! I figured it had to be scheduled in somewhere but just could not find it! That will be perfect for us! We will probably have covered a lot of it on field trips before then so it will be a great refresher/adding on info!

Postby schelean » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:43 pm
Are you a member of the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC)? I have seen some great Texas history programs advertised through them. We are not quite there yet so I have not researched it extensively. We may take a class through our local coop or just do as Crystal suggested and learn along the way, a little at a time and just end with the 6 week study/report.

We live in east Texas and there are so many local hands-on opportunities to learn Texas history. Right now our local homeschool area group is having monthly Texas history speakers. Dd is a little young for it now but I thought mentioning it might inspire you to look for those opportunities in your area also. As you know, Texas history is a full year study in 4th and 7th grades in Texas public school as well as many private schools. Texas has such great history! I have a friend that moved here from another much smaller state. She was so confused as to how a full year could be devoted to state history. It was funny! I guess growing up in Texas - it had never occurred to me that not all states devote 2 full school years to their own state history.

Postby TriciaMR » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:12 pm
Yeah, Texas History (which I got in 7th grade) includes Utah History (which I got in 4th grade) and Colorado History (which I got in 8th grade) and about 1/8th of US History, which I got in 11th grade. (Can you tell I had enough of Texas history, and I'm a native? :-) :-) ) How can you cover all that in 6 weeks? ;)

Anyhow, I think 6 weeks is good, because you'll cover a lot of it in US History, too... (For an interesting Romantic Historical Fiction perspective, check out Gilbert Morris' series called Yellow Rose of Texas, I think... I wouldn't let a young kid read it, but it was fun reading for me this summer. It was interesting to get a perspective of the Alamo, Indian issues, how the Texas Rangers started (not the baseball team), cattle ranching, statehood (and the issues of whether or not to become a state), etc. Way more interesting then my 7th grade Texas History book, which was as thick as my U.S. History book.)

Postby beaglemamma2008 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:01 pm
My kids are still pretty young (2nd and Pre-K), but I think it would be fun to do some field trips related to TX history when they're older. Not everything is close, but it would be fun to take a few days and do "road school." :-)

The Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument
Huntsville (Sam Houston)
Nacogdoches (Stephen F. Austin)
The Alamo
Any other ideas??

Postby schelean » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:14 am
Washington on the Brazos
Austin - state capital tour and many other things there
Visit LBJ's home
In Nac there is also a great hands-on history place called Miller's Crossing (might be Millard - can't remember for sure)
At least 2 Presidential Libraries - one at UT and the other at A&M

Have looked at this website:

Postby beastgal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:49 am
A few off the top of my head are.... My boys love this place!
The cotton gin museum in Burton, TX.
Fort Parker in Mexia, TX. (We may go to here this week, but they have school days in Dec) Woodville, TX one room school house has a civil war reenactment in Nov
We are planning on these here in the next few months, most can be all day field trips from the North Houston area.

Oh and I want to go here soon, but it will have to be a camping trip!
The dinosaur park and creation museum in Glen Rose, Tx.

Postby TriciaMR » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:56 am
Ohh, the dinosaur park and creation museum is an awesome one. Make sure you go see the Passion Play at the local ampitheater, if they're still doing it. Live animals and everything. Went about 3 times when I lived in the Dallas metro area.

Postby schelean » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:03 am

Glen Rose is incredible. I have some great pictures with dd foot in a dino track! The Passion Play is every weekend in October. Fossil Rim also loves homeschoolers! So many things to do in Texas! :-)

Postby vonfirmath » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:05 pm
schelean wrote:Washington-on-the-Brazos.
The Alamo would have meant nothing if it was not for Washington on the Brazos. All the Alamo did was buy time for the Constitution of the State of Texas to be signed at the Washington-on-the-brazos. this park is GREAT fun to go to. My son is 3 and I'm thinking about going in the next year. It won't be the only trip. But its fun enough to be worth doing many times.

I don't remember texas history in 4th grade either, but I very much remember taking an entire year for in depth Texas history in 7th grade. We could not do much trips -- luckily my parents had already taken me to many of these places. Texas is rich in history and I can not imagine doing it in only 6 weeks either. We may have to make it a separate subject at least one year when homeschooling!
schelean wrote:At least 2 Presidential Libraries - one at UT and the other at A&M
The George Bush library hosts an annual Easter Egg hunt for little ones every year. We've gone both years we've been in Texas. Starts making connections. And its a fun activity.

Postby beastgal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:58 pm
vonfirmath wrote:The Alamo would have meant nothing if it was not for Washington on the Brazos.
We took our 7 and 3 year old and the 3 year old loved it! He loved playing on the farm and also the interactive room in the Star of the Republic Museum.

They have a Homeschool day on Oct 27. You do have to call and make reservations but it looks to be a fun time! They will get to make crafts and do a little more than they do on normal tours. Also we were told that in January they will be curing two hogs. They will teach the process of salting it and how to do everything. It sounds interesting so I am sure we will go back.
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Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by Dusenkids »

themama wrote:Where I can I find good and concise information on Texas State History? There is just so much I don't how to pick and choose. Where did you find the information for your particular state?
I'm in Ohio so...

My library has a "local history" section that has some pretty good stuff to sort through. Down side I can't check it out so class will be in the library those days. I was also able to get hold of/buy an Ohio history text book that our local district retired. (Neat side story, I was able to get the one with my name in it) I also plan on writing the Ohio historical society. Years ago, I was able to get info for a project when I was in elem so hopefully that will be able to help again. We also have a couple museums that are excellent for early local (state and county) history. They have a lot of books in the gift shops so when the time comes, I'll be looking into those.

Maybe some of those will aply to you too??
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I posted a looooong post about our state study: ... 831#p51505

The main resources we used were:
- MFW's state sheet on Minnesota (we read it even though it wasn't covered in EX1850).
- A textbook used by many Minnesota schools, which we could check out from our library or find older versions pretty cheap online (Northern Lights, Stories of Minnesota's Past).
- It Happened in America (recommended for EX1850 book basket ), the chapter on Minnesota is about Scandinavian immigrants, so that adds an interesting piece of the history puzzle.
- The internet, which I listed lots of things for on that link.

Our local school store also had a classroom timeline (8 feet!) that would have been cool to use more, except I didn't go to the school store until late in the game.
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by schelean »

I have also been trying to decide how to best approach Texas history. A couple of years ago THSC advertised this curriculum. If you are a member of THSC you can buy it at a discount - This past May at the convention in Arlington, I spoke with the writer of this curriculum. She had a place set up at her booth to look through this curriculum on the computer. It looked great. In many ways it seems similiar to MFW. It includes hands on activities, literature reading list, and even includes suggested field trips for each section.

One of the suggestions in the curriculum is to do it in the summer. I am thinking that might be a great idea. The field trips would be great - although very hot in our Texas heat. The website gives a lot of different suggestions on how to best incorporate this into your current curriculum choice. We also attend a weekly coop that may consider this curriculum for Texas history. So that might be an option for us too.

I would love to know more of what you find out about learning Texas history. So far, the above referenced website has looked the best to me because of the hands on, literature, and field trips. It also is written for a wide range of age groups.
Schelean in Texas
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Julie in MN
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by Julie in MN »

schelean wrote:One of the suggestions in the curriculum is to do it in the summer.
Not sure if you realized that MFW sets aside 4 weeks for state study at the end of EX1850? Plus there are the 2 "optional" weeks 35 & 36 that are totally open. Maybe you could do highlights from this program for those weeks. On the link I gave, I think Crystal said her youngest did some sort of state history program during that time.

Just wanted to make sure you knew about those weeks.
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Amy C.
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by Amy C. »

We have not done this yet, but I have been eyeing the "State History from a Christian Perspective" for quite some time. I had actually thought about doing it a couple of years ago, but Crystal gave me the heads up about state history in Exp1850 (as Julie mentioned) so I thought I would wait until then. You can go to their website and check it out if you are interested.

Amy C.
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by meagabby »

My dd wrote to the state around week 22 or so, as prompted by the TM, for information for the report. It's late and I'd have to ask her about the address from the state (dept of tourism, I think) for the address, but she received a packet that included statistics and more info. When she opened it her statement was, "This is just what I need for my state report".
Last edited by meagabby on Wed May 23, 2012 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exploration to 1850 your own State History

Unread post by cbollin »

I know whatever I did 5 years ago was already mentioned.... hard to believe I get to do this all over again with my children, five years later. The kicker? I don't live in Indiana anymore. So, I had to do all of this all over again for Tennessee.

*yep. I was a happy camper to see Joy Dean (, aka State History from Christian Perspective) at the Memphis convention in March. I found her materials easy to use for Indiana and they are equally good and easy and enough for TN. So, little gal will be called 3rd grade and she gets to do the notebooking version, and middle gal is 7th grade and gets to do the regular version.

*I thought I'd try Notgrass TN history...... let's just say I hugged Joy Dean. (overkill text vs. just enough)

*While on business trips and vacations this year and traveling the interstates, we stopped at various rest areas and got LOTS of cool brochures for pictures and places and things. That will be a fun way to get stuff for doing your report. so do that. figure out where the rest areas with maps and brochures, or even hotel lobbies!

*then, I got online to look at official visitors bureau and official gov't sites. We'll do the contact for more information stuff when it shows up in the EX1850manual (like others have said)

so basically, in EX1850, you'll get a "training" time in book basket with all of the state sheets and book basket. You'll find basic books in the library on various states. Then, you'll have an idea of that and it will all come together nice and easy at the end of the year. Make the report, do some basic research, go to state parks, field trips and take the time to enjoy the sites.

I know we got in plenty of TN geography this year just driving from Memphis to Knoxville and then to Bristol. go from this flooded waste land in memphis to the Smoky Mountains.... now I got Ronny Milsap's song in my brain... Smoky Mountain Rain...

and don't forget to visit history museums in your area. If anyone reading this is in Memphis area, Pink Palace is great for year4/5 field trips.

well... all of that to say, it's going to work out fine. There are notes in the manual in EX1850 to do some basic stuff. Google for official tourism site. visit rest areas and get brochures. none of the Joy Dean stuff is needed -- it's basic history, geography, etc. and a few quizzes and such.


State Reports

Unread post by cbollin »

rxmom wrote:We have finally reached our state report section of EXP to 1850--YEAH!! (long story..will not bore you with it ;) ) We will take next 3 weeks to work on this as we wish to start fresh Jan 2 with 1850 to MT and we want to have one or two weeks for Christmas break.

1. Has anyone out there done this in just 3 weeks?
We have traveled extensively in our state--esp to historic sites (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Richmond, etc)...lots of hiking, camping, beach trips....We plan to take a trip to see state legislature in action, etc. I know this is more about "research" as much as anything else....They have done a research report for Classical Conversations last spring (don't ask...) on a Revolutionary War figure so they have some skills in this regard. I know they need more.

2. Has anyone actually used the Writing a State Report book to record/write the report? Or do you have student do a seperate write up?
We have 3rd, 5th, and 7th grader...was thinking of having 7th grader type his up more "formally" and letting other 2 use the book and actually write in this....does this make any sense?
PS: Confession: we even thought about skipping this altogether....blush....bad homeschool mom moment. &)
It can get done like that. 3 weeks to summarize field trips and information already done....

let me think.... Writing a State Report. yes... first time I did EX1850, I'm pretty sure both Oldest and MIddle uses the pages from the book to write it up. I'm fairly sure middle gal did... she's was 2nd grade. The report was done at the end of our study with a few pages from the book. It was like an extensive notebooking summary with pre printed pages. Don't feel like they have to do all of those pages of course.

then last year... middle gal was in 7th grade and we did the report at computer write up instead.

there will be other reports in their school life... so if the 3rd and 5th graders just use copies of the page in the Report book for "notebook summary" and make a bibliography... and then staple it together... I'm almost certain that my oldest did it that way in 5th.. I know we were doing a formal study of state history with statehistory dot net. then the report was a few pages here and there that wasn't just copy and paste stuff.

It'll work just fine, Delcey. even if you skip it. But it could be 3-5 pages for this age group, make title page... bibliography page.... Write up a few of the things from trips. Think of it as a keepsake notebooking instead of "ugh.. got to do this report. blah!"

Julie in MN
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Re: State Reports

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I am not the best person to answer about condensing writing, because I tend to obsess and spend 100 times as much effort on writing projects than is probably necessary. But like Crystal, I'm not seeing many answers so maybe I can bump you up again to get more replies.

As for what we did, it's all on his thread. But I like some of the *other* posts on this thread, such as both of the Dawns who did field-trip based reports:

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Re: State Reports

Unread post by rxmom »

Crystal and Julie,
Thank you so much for feedback....the thread is also helpful. Think we are gonna have some fun with this instead of heavy writing project as we have had enough of that this year (our fault, not MFW)..will definitely do bibliography for the experience, etc.
You gals are such a blessing and I can say I am truly thankful for help so many of us on this board with good sound, solid, honest advice. I appreciate the effort you both take to answer the MANY questions on this board. HUGS to you both and have a great Thanksgiving break.
Delcey :-)

PS. No "criks" rising here in Roanoke...
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Re: State Reports

Unread post by homespun »

Weve been collecting postcards from our state. I thought it might be fun to make a scrapbook with them and write alittle something next to each one. I cant see my ds making a report. Do you think that would work instead?
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State research for 2nd/3rd grade in EX-1850 ?

Unread post by Poohbee »

Missy OH wrote:We will be doing EX-1850 next year. I'm thinking through what I do and don't want my 2nd/3rd grader to do. I'm wondering, for those of you that had a child this age participating, did you choose to do the state research or not? If you did, how did you go about doing it? If not, what did you choose to do instead? Thanks!
I just completed EX1850 with a 7th grader and a 3rd grader. Writing a State Report has some good suggestions for projects and some great reproducible pages.

(The information for the state research is outdated, the copyright date is 1989. It contains information about using the card catalog at the library, which is usually online nowadays. Several of the web sites listed for research on the Internet do not exist anymore. One of the assignments is to write a request letter to your state tourism office for information. While this may be a valuable exercise, it isn't really practical, because in our state, you can get on the tourism web site and request information with the click of a button. Sorry...I digress.)

You can easily copy the reproducibles in the state report book and let your 2nd/3rd grader cut out pictures from brochures and write a few sentences about the topic. My 3rd grader is a strong reader, but she was able to successfully do quite a bit of research about our state using books we owned or checked out from the library. Instead of having my kids write a report, I wanted to make our state study a bit more fun and hands-on, so I gave them some project options. My 3rd grader ended up making a diorama, a mini book, a map, and a t-shirt design with information about our state. The State Report book has some project ideas on pg. 46.

So, my advice would be to go ahead and read books about your state with your child and let them learn about the state at their own level. Let them complete some of the reproducible sheets and maybe a project or 2. Get out and take field trips around your state. Do the nature journaling that is scheduled for those weeks for science in your backyard or visit some new places while you do the nature journaling. The 4 week state study is actually a really nice way to end the school year, as it is lighter than the regular history schedule, and my girls and I had fun exploring and learning about our state. :-)
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Re: State research for 2nd/3rd grade in EX-1850 ?

Unread post by Missy OH »

Phoobe you made that study sound wonderful. I'm now looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing what you did. :)
Amy C.
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Re: State research for 2nd/3rd grade in EX-1850 ?

Unread post by Amy C. »

My 2nd/3rd grader, at the time, did a state notebook. Basically, I printed info (including pictures), like state flower, state tree, state bird, state motto, etc. off the internet. I had him condense (with my help) the info and copy it on lined pages and then cut the pictures and glue them on the page that he had written the info on. I did have him color the state flag. I may have copied the flag page out of the State Report book. I can't remember. Then I had him write about the flag on the bottom of the page. He needed some extra handwriting practice and this was a good way to get that in.

I had wanted to do some field trips, but it didn't happen.

Agreeing with Poohbee that the State Report book was outdated. My 7th grader at the time used parts of it, but winged the rest of it. We used the internet for most if not all of our info.

I had wanted to do some fun hands-on activities during that portion of study, but quite frankly, I was completely wiped out by the time we came to that. That was a particularly draining year for me with my 2nd/3rd grader. However, Poohbee's state study experience sounds really fun! Good ideas!

Amy C.
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